Collecting and Analyzing the Presence of Terrorists on the Web: A Case Study of Jihad Websites

  • Edna Reid
  • Jialun Qin
  • Yilu Zhou
  • Guanpi Lai
  • Marc Sageman
  • Gabriel Weimann
  • Hsinchun Chen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3495)


The Internet which has enabled global businesses to flourish has become the very same channel for mushrooming ‘terrorist news networks.’ Terrorist organizations and their sympathizers have found a cost-effective resource to advance their courses by posting high-impact Websites with short shelf-lives. Because of their evanescent nature, terrorism research communities require unrestrained access to digitally archived Websites to mine their contents and pursue various types of analyses. However, organizations that specialize in capturing, archiving, and analyzing Jihad terrorist Websites employ different, manualbased analyses techniques that are inefficient and not scalable. This study proposes the development of automated or semi-automated procedures and systematic methodologies for capturing Jihad terrorist Website data and its subsequent analyses. By analyzing the content of hyperlinked terrorist Websites and constructing visual social network maps, our study is able to generate an integrated approach to the study of Jihad terrorism, their network structure, component clusters, and cluster affinity.


Terrorist Group High Level Attribute Islamist Movement Cluster Affinity Systematic Content Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Albertsen, K.: The Paradigma Web Harvesting Environment. In: 3rd ECDL Workshop on Web Archives, Trondheim, Norway (2003)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anderson, A.: Risk, Terrorism, and the Internet. Knowledge, Technology & Policy 16(2), 24–33 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Arquilla, J., Ronfeldt, D.F.: Advent of Netwar. Rand Report (1996),
  4. 4.
    Borgman, C.L., Furner, J.: Scholarly Communication and Bibliometrics. In: Cronin, B. (ed.) Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Information Today, Inc. (2002)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bunt, G.R.: Islam In The Digital Age: E-Jihad. In: Online Fatwas and Cyber Islamic Environments. Pluto Press, London (2003)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Carley, K.M., Reminga, J., Kamneva, N.: Destabilizing Terrorist Networks. In: NAACSOS Conference Proceedings, Pittsburgh, PA (2003)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Carmon, Y.: Assessing Islamist Web Site Reports of Imminent Terror Attack. In: The U.S. MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series #156 (2003)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Demchak, C.C., Friis, C., La Porte, T.M.: Webbing Governance: National Differences in Constructing the Face of Public Organizations. In: David Garson, G. (ed.) Handbook of Public Information Systems. Marcel Dekker Publishers, New York (2000)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Elison, W.: Netwar: Studying Rebels on the Internet. The Social Studies 91, 127–131 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gibson, D., Kleinberg, J., Raghavan, P.: Inferring Web Communities from Link Topology. In: Proceedings of the 9th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Hypermedia (1998)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Institute for Security Technology Studies: Examining the Cyber Capabilities of Islamic Terrorist Groups. Report, ISTS (2004),
  12. 12.
    Jenkins, B.M.: World Becomes the Hostage of Media-Savvy Terrorists: Commentary. USA Today (2004),
  13. 13.
    Kay, R.: Web Harvesting. Computerworld (2004),
  14. 14.
    Kenney, A.R., McGovern, N.Y., Botticelli, P., Entlich, R., Lagoze, C., Payette, S.: Preservation Risk Management for Web Resources: Virtual Remote Control in Cornell’s Project Prism. D-Lib Magazine 8(1) (2002)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Reid, E.O.F.: Identifying a Company’s Non-Customer Online Communities: a Proto-typology. In: Proceedings of the 36th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (2003)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Reilly, B., Tuchel, G., Simon, J., Palaima, C., Norsworthy, K., Myrick, L.: Political Communications Web Archiving: Addressing Typology and Timing for Selection, Preservation and Access. In: 3rd ECDL Workshop on Web Archives, Trondheim, Norway (2003)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Research Community PRISM.: The Project for the Research of Islamist Movements. MEMRI: Jihad and Terrorism Studies Project (2003),
  18. 18.
    SITE Institut: Report (2003),
  19. 19.
    Schneider, S.M., Foot, K., Kimpton, M., Jones, G.: Building thematic web collections: challenges and experiences from the September 11 Web Archive and the Election 2002 Web Archive. In: 3rd ECDL Workshop on Web Archives, Trondheim, Norway (2003)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Tekwani, S.: Cyberterrorism: Threat and Response. Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies. In: Workshop on the New Dimensions of Terrorism, Singapore (2002)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    The 9/11 commission report (2004),
  22. 22.
    Tsfati, Y., Weimann, G.: Terror on the Internet. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 25, 317–332 (2002), CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Weimann, G.: How Modern Terrorism Uses the Internet. Special Report 116, U.S. Institute of Peace (2004),

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edna Reid
    • 1
  • Jialun Qin
    • 1
  • Yilu Zhou
    • 1
  • Guanpi Lai
    • 2
  • Marc Sageman
    • 3
  • Gabriel Weimann
    • 4
  • Hsinchun Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Management Information SystemsThe University of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Systems and Industry EngineeringThe University of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  3. 3.The Solomon Asch Center For Study of Ethnopolitical ConflictUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of CommunicationHaifa UniversityHaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations